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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  June 30, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT

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>> let us know what you reading this summer. tweet us at the booktv. posted on our facebook page or send us an e-mail at booktv@c-span.org. >> up next on booktv, "after words" with guest host neela banerjee, energy and environment reporter for the "los angeles times." this week award-winning journalist laurence leamer and his latest book, "the price of justice: a true story of greed and corruption." in it, the new york times best selling author tells the story of the legal battle to hold massey energy accountable to the west virginia communities that it dominated while supplying almost half the nation's coal-generated electric power. the program is about one hour. >> host: welcome to "after
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words." today we're fortunate enough to have laurence leamer, best selling author who has recently published a very engrossing book called "the price of justice." on its face the book is about supreme court case that was decided at the end of the last decade. but it's much more than that, and if you could just bring readers into the various things that is covered and it's a 14 year struggle to to pittsburgh lawyers. take on this case of the small mine owner in western virginia, southwestern virginia he was driven into bankruptcy by don blankenship, the ceo of massey energy and they get into this. they want a judgment and the struggle, they get turned down, blankenship buys the court and the supreme court and basically reaches the icy supreme court. they get so involved and they think blankenship is such a bad man they become consumed bring him down.
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they take other cases involving them. he's like this predatory capitalist from the earliest of the 20th century, been reborn in our time. they fight him all hoosiers until that some measure of victory. >> host: what i found, some interesting about it, and one of the things i wanted to ask you can use to with a very personal prologue, about how he got interested in this part of the world and in this case in the first place. >> guest: i had my adventures that been in the peace corps more to factor in france, and all sorts of things, living in new york, had written one book and was bored and looking for something to do. i read a book, a wonderful book about asian kentucky. >> host: when was this around? >> guest: this was 1981. excuse me, 81. 1971 to 1971, wow, 1971. i read a book and i think what a
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fastening part of the world. not that far from us. i drove down to appalachia and i had a friend of a friend who at a furniture store and i wanted to see them. he said if you really want to learn about this region, the best thing to do is work in the coal mine. picked up the phone and called the coal company. he called united mine workers, and the next evening i was working the hotel shift from midnight to 8 a.m. >> host: you do a very good job, based on your own experience and in the book of describing west virginia which, you know, i think maybe some people estimate types but one of the most compelling things i found was in the book you said in the course of time and in industrial is asian in this country, that more than 1000 miners have perished in the pursuit of goal. this is to fire our factories, power plants and to give us the standard of living that we have. can you tell us about the west
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virginia that you were in in 1971 and in the west virginia you return to in the course of doing this book? and what role you think the companies in the industry had in the changes that you saw. >> guest: will come in 1971, i was a union minor. everybody was a union money. there's no more militant stronger in america than united mine workers and i saw how they cared about the safety of the miners, the union cared. the union was for the money. it had been very corrupt, had been a murder of, a murder of jack, was a reformer, but the union was coming around. and there was a sense that things are getting better. it was a place you wanted to go. there was a quaint feeling in these old counts down there and there's a feeling that things are getting better. so when i went back 40 years later to work on this book, i
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was just stunned what happened to first things just visually. people built their modest homes. they built them with lumber, to the cabin, peopl people came ino build those homes. now they are mainly mobile homes that are trucked in, made in indiana, made for everybody in west virginia. they are put on people's land but the land is owned by outside. they don't these mobile homes on this property, they rot, they don't gain valley. so the countryside is just studded with this, that kind of feeling. accounts themselves have lost population. there are empty storefront because the feeding life is going down. the most educated, the most daring, the most progressive people have mostly left the state. so on that level it's a very sad place. >> host: one of the things i remember you saying in the book that as west virginia introduces spiral that don blankenship hold on west virginia strengthen and
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tighten, some viewers may remember don blankenship and massey energy because of an explosion in 2010 at the upper big branch mine that took 29 miners lives, right. one of the reasons that was sort of put to the sit side was becae of the deepwater horizon occurred a few weeks later. but i remember the coverage of upper big branch, so blankenship's name may be there somewhere in the recesses of people's minds. what makes this book so readable is your focus on characters, the individuals and their motivations. and so blankenship, the person who ended up tightening his hold on west virginia, he and tipper 10 are the two men who are at the center of the dispute. can he tell us a little bit about the two men and how they ended up locking horns with what
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was ended up in the trial treasury blankenship has a poor boy. he grew up in a house without indoor plumbing. illegitimate. his mother been a little grocery been a little grocery stores 60 hours a day. he saw life from the bottom. caperton is one of the great names in the state. his second cousin was governor in part of history. he's the fourth generation. three generations. they ran a min mine and they raa good company can. most of them were not that good but they really cared for their community, for the people that worked for them. but and 79 any money himself but he was able to start this "mein kampf" to buy this mine, in virginia. caperton's mine had a long-term contract about all this goal from this company. blankenship's company, massey energy bought -- >> host: smaller country. that was the buyer of caperton's
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call country and caperton thought this is great, big companies bad company be able to face with the ellis. this is terrific news. but blankenship, the bottom line is everything to this man. he's an account. he's an accountant mentality. the bottom line anything attitude at the bottom line is as good as possible you do. he looked at what he is paying for this goal. he thought it was too much. so he declared a basis -- defiance and business confidence is that an act of god, fire, a hurricane or something like that, you can deliver and then you can get out of the contract. they just lost one of the coal plants were there is holeing -- selling the scolded by nowhere was that force majeure. blankenship said was. and caperton said he would soon, blankenship said we spend $19 a month on lawyers. you sue us and we will destroy you. >> host: part of it was that initially, if i recall this directly, blankenship wen when n the spoke to caperton and
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caperton was under the impression that blankenship would be interested in buying his company. if i recall correctly, the coke plant that most of caperton's goal was going to was going to buy the goal. it was too late and i guess the contractual season for caperton to find a new bar. iusually up against the wall because he had all of these -- he personally guaranteed, right? and so this is rather interesting. and if you want a donut going to tell the readers about this but it was sort of, you know, about what blankenship promised caperton and how that changed ethnic caperton and had been wronged by blake and should but he knew that massey had all this money. he knew he had 125 union miners that needed jobs. didn't have the money for a lawsuit, and when blankenship
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said mayb may be the way out ofs is for us to buy your company, he said, okay. and tapered and thought it was worth something like $18 million, and he said that, and blankenship said that's not enough. went further down and down until it was just a few million dollars. and caperton had no choice but to take it. but the deal didn't close. and caperton's plan for the mine was right next to his mind, the harmon mine, there was cold next door, and his whole plan of survival and success was due by the coal next door your blankenship while negotiating this thing brought a ring of gold around it. preventing the harmon mike mckee just might come from expand to destroy the prospect of success but in the meantime he keeps delaying negotiations at the last minute, caperton is there to sign the contract, sal this
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mine, to him is very little money. at that point blankenship backs off and refuses to buy it. i think he was planning to buy the bankruptcy. caperton had message and he would've bought it for practically nothing in bankruptcy. destroyed the union because that's what he was doing, destroying the union miners, bringing in his own miners and mine it. >> host: and so the two men, the two antagonists were there but there were also two other men who are critical to this. those are the attorneys, caperton's conduct is one of them, david fawcett and ends up working for bruce stanley, a former colleague of his. how did those two men and a? how did they become this obsession really with them? >> guest: one thing about blankenship and caperton. blankenship personally despise caperton to caperton was raised -- rich west virginia to the
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kind of kid he could not get rid of them. when he became president of massey energy, who was the other candidate to be president? it was caperton's brother who was a lawyer, who was very well spoken, who have the credentials, the bloodline. at blankenship was a new force and blankenship beat him. and blankenship like the ip was beating tapered and he thought caperton was a rich, spoiled boy. jeopardy, what was he going to do? he had the money. he goes to dave foster, a lawyer in pittsburgh, he gets his company to take the case on contingency. fossett is a third generation pittsburgh lawyer. and fawcett then has to bring there's a corporate senate personals it. so fossett has to bring in another vote. he doesn't want to but he's the kind of person he just does everything himself, he is obsessed with detail. it's got to be number one. he did not want to bring in in another lawyer b but he had to. for brought in his friend, ruth
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stanley, who was a poor boy from west virginia, very similar background to blankenship. bruce wanted to be just the he went to west virginia university. he was a journalist in 1984-85 for the winston daily news in southern west virginia window is a big strike, when blankenship was the president of the subsidiary that was the key to the strike. and stanley saw blankenship began the destruction of the union right there. house of representatives their paths had crossed, right. >> guest: he was devastated at what he saw happening to this what he loves. but he was so great, so did mean what was happening he wanted to get out. he wanted to do something else. so he got his law degree and he comes to pittsburgh and he becomes a lawyer. he never wants to go back. he visits his family. one of his brothers is a coal miner, the other is a mine inspector a real old west virginia family by the decide he's going to take this case. so the two of them, totally odd
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couple, you would think they would be at each other's throats in five minutes, but they take this and they become obsessed with bringing blankenship down. >> host: that is one of the interesting things. without getting too much into this, to cases, one in virginia and one in west virginia and this proves to be the crux of the problem later down the line. right? can you explain why there were two cases just briefly? >> guest: the first case in virginia was a narrow construct dispute. >> host: one of the companies was incorporated in virginia? >> guest: the coal mine was in virginia. it's the contract dispute. that by itself, fossett was over. he wanted $6 million for the corporation. but there was another disputed, a larger dispute, a court dispute that basically that massey had willfully set off to destroy. they just hadn't thought of the
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contract but they willfully set off to destroy the harmon mine, destroy caperton person and destroy his mind to that was a much larger suit. and that took place in west virginia where caperton at his office, where massey did most of its business. there was no problem with this and that's when it went to trial in 2002, in logan west virginia had a six-week trial in which massey, they didn't even argue the truth or falsehood of whether they should have done the day spent the whole six weeks trying to destroy caperton person. >> it was sort of a -- what was missing about caperton? it's not like caperton, caperton i found to be a very interesting character. he was almost a logically positive but i think without someone like that, without that sort of perseverance this trial would not have ended up in the supreme court. but on the other hand, he made
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some missteps and this is something that the massey people never even dealt with on the issues. >> guest: right. look on in the lawsuit the mr. thorson said hey, this is like a tree that will fall down in the forest. he was a lousy businessman. he didn't, he was paying the unions too much. he was going to fail. fossett and stanley argued, yes, it's content without all these lawsuits throughout these years but some concern and it's going to be great. come down the middle. that they would have modeled on for a few years but endless they had gotten there goal that was beyond them, and less a lot of good things happen to i don't how successful they would've been. by caperton said no, no. with his incredible optimism. what he did is when the mine was going down he was building his dream house. his father was in his, is now a
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resort commend in southern west virginia. his father built and his father went bankrupt personally and a corporate bankruptcy. caperton, he knew he wasn't have any more money coming in and he made a lot of money that year. he threw all this money into building his dream house and furnishing it just briefly. he wasn't going to get, his lawyers argued he should've gotten a job. he should've gone away, should've done something else. but the pride and optimism that made him continue to fight this was the pride and optimism that i'm sitting in that house, not working all these years. and he lived fairly well. he later got $2 million in a hedge fund. said he was living very well all these years as he was fighting this. >> host: he also had all these debts and he was using some of that money. it's interesting, you mentioned a few times in the book is unwillingness to get a job. there some people like bruce stanley who left west virginia
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because of what they saw but there are others like caperton, the whole history of coal and west virginia can exert a particular poll on them. blankenship had left west virginia and done things in corporate america only to come back. what do you think that is? i do think it resonates with people? why do you think is so important to caperton to make a go of basically a failing mine on his own? when he bought it was in worse shape then later on. >> guest: well, this weekend the roads are going to be full of people going back to west virginia. people that can't get a job there but love this place, and i love west virginia. i love the humanity, the people. i love the unpretentiousness. it's not a place where you pretend or something are not but can't stand it. i just think, i understand the passion feeling people have. it's not just about coulter is something beyond that. blankenship, to his credit, is
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the one coal executive who lived in west virginia. he lived in the mine superintendent sounds that when he was a poor little boy he looked up and down the slippery that's where the richest and most powerful person you and you want to live in that house. for over two decades he still has the house. >> host: so there is, the suit in west virginia, the massey lawyers go after caperton. caperton's lawyers basically present the narrative of what happens between caperton and massey, really blankenship. did blankenship testified treasury yes. blankenship, if you on the other side, you love to testify because he's a truth teller in this way. that's another apple quality. maybe not in the courtroom, and he thinks he's right and he
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thinks, he thinks that he has this vision for this industry. he sees caperton's mind, and one of his depositions he says, rob we truthfully the problem is that caperton didn't break any capital. it was a union mind with all the obligations that come with the union my. and always passed this. obligations to been to retirement and health that caperton picked up when he got the mine. he said no way could it be successful. that's the we saw the world. >> host: so how did that case end up, the first case? >> guest: the first case -- uzbek the second case. transit it took six weeks. $50 million verdict, just an astounding verdict host met in caperton's favor. >> guest: and this very well well-controlled guy, dozen shows emotion, he just goes crazy. he comes out, roles on the lawn,
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just crazy with excitement about. he gets into this little restaurant and starts knocking his hands on the wall, and bruce was from west virginia says beware, celebrate today but this is not over. and he certainly was right. >> host: what's interesting about it is that this is actually several cases, so there's a case that ends up in, angina, bruce stanley was prophetic. he knows the place. so what happens next? >> guest: well, blankenship says bad things that happened in my life professional but this is the worst thing that's ever happened. he calls his employees, employees he likes members and then slid out of the 6000 members saying, you know, this is just dreadful and we naturally the state because of this, it's a terrible. and he vows that he will turn this thing over. is going to win this. in west virginia there is no intermediate court. you just go right to the west virginia supreme court. but it takes so long, it takes
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several years for even reach the point where it can get up to the supreme court. but in the meantime there's an election in 2004 to the west virginia supreme court. >> host: right, and here's where they intrigue begins at actually lead to the supreme court case. the supreme court case was not looking at whether massey had brought caperton in the cold bill. it was looking at what ended up happening at a supreme court. i found that fascinating, the characters, including somebody would seem tangential to this, a young man named tony, right? without giving away too much if you could tell us about what happened at that level, that form the basis of the ruling that we have now, right? >> guest: blankenship disasters this selection to i want to selected jessica in his mind he doesn't think is buying justice to vote his way on nasa. he thinks a good justice, a good
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conservative justice will vote that way anyway. switches wants to get somebody there in his mind that will do that. >> host: five members on the court and there was a liberal justice who would constitute election. so what ends up happening? >> guest: mcgraw thinks he will win. no one will destroy the there have been republican elected since 1920. so forget it. so blankenship decides he's going to do what he can to bring this guy down. he developed a strategy with political consultants where they need, well, justice davis is a member of the supreme court. she is a moderate. she doesn't like the incumbent liberal justice. she clearly would like to give it of him. the case comes to the supreme court with a man called tony. he had been, a little boy who lived way up in the house, and
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i've been up there where he lived. i can't tell you how bad it is. he was come he started the section listed by the time he was three or four years old by family members and friends. that was just what was done. to him, it was just, became just like another kid go and play baseball, that's what happened in this them in this area. when he was nine or 10, he sexually molested his younger brother. again, not thinking of anything bad about the when he was 14, the social services came and got them, an agenda brother innocently said this is what happened to tony is arrested. he is sentenced, he pleads guilty to one count, he is sentenced to 15-35 years in prison. so after a number of years, this comes to the supreme court. and the liberal justice decided enough of this and i going to give tony another chance. davis i think sees this as an opportunity to destroy mcgraw. in the supreme court justices
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take turns writing the majority opinion. even if they don't go along with it. chief justice. but that justice is just take turns. so she decides she's going to write the majority opinion that she doesn't believe in and she writes in a very careful way. then she writes her minority opinion, our opinion, her objection to this in great detail. and in it she gives a legal basis for the most vicious political, one of the most vicious political campaigns in the american political history. tony has come in west virginia, he's living there, has a job and everything is going just fine. he comes out one morning and looks up and there's a billboard saying that mcgraw is free and a child rapist and showing tony's page the just devastated he walks a few blocks down the street and there's another billboard. he was all of the state. he basically is destroyed. is not only destroyed, but
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mcgraw is secure. but benjamin personal uses it in his campaign and blankenship uses it in the $3 million he spent to destroy him. >> host: the davis provided the sort of ammunition, and blankenship's money helped disseminate this campaign or this spin on that decision, that mcgraw freed a child laughter drifted probably no one in american history has ever spent that much money and a judicial election house of representatives you to point out in the book that this is part of a trend that was happening in the country, right? it was agreed to by recalling justice of state and they follow political money coming into the judicial elections. and i think there was a point that was made that the numbers continue to increase ever you. to what was happening in west virginia was not than usual in
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relation to what's happening in the rest of the country, correct? >> guest: no. and as this money, more negative. a device that was used, that blankenship used to the, that he involved, he could not give money to benjamin personally. he couldn't give them the money for his campaign. he had to run, he had to give come he couldn't even talk to them together just give the money to these negative campaigns but he had to have his own ads so it becomes more and more negative. at all across the country if you want to defeat somebody, you look for something that they voted on, some social issue that you can while of the public for. that's what he did to destroy. that's when these judges have to be learned to be more and more careful with people for the other side in that election is not for either. when they learn that, it's the
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trial lawyers on the other side. trial lawyers wanted these liberal justices who will vote judgment. two weeks before the election it comes out that blankenship is the one who's getting millions of dollars. so they suddenly have got to throw their money into it. one or two trial lawyers, probably gave half a million dollars a piece. they just totally, they had another device to do it. so it's totally anonymous. so let's say the election had gone the other way, one of these filers could of gone to justice mcgraw and said i just want you to i spent half million dollars elected, i don't want you to vote. i just want you to be the good, fair judge of always been. >> host: we will be right back after a short break. >> afterwards is available via podcast to itunes an accident or visit booktv.org and click podcast on the upper left side of the page. select which podcasts you would like to download and listen to afterwards when you travel.
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>> host: was don blankenship's money well spent and that election director he got the vote he wanted. he got the caperton verdict turned back. he saved with interest $70 million hospital so benjamin was elected. he is still there by the way. so he was elected. and mcgraw was defeated. so what was the essence of the decision, just quickly, on the appeal that massey had brought to the state supreme court? i mean, this kind of goes back to the issue of the two lawsuits, right? >> guest: that justices all said it was egregious what had been done, that massey had done wrong to caperton, they found a technicality about where, that
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they filed this thing twice to turn this thing back, and it was, and the justices, the two justices that voted the other way were very articulate about why this is wrong and how they had invented lot to do this. they were looking. they were just looking for way to turn this back and that was the device they found. ..
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and the dozen guesses and it back to pittsburgh. opens up. there are these pictures of blood kinship. and blackened ship with the mistresses. >> the only place to go from here is the supreme court. what made them think that it should go to the supreme court? of whether they can get them to listen. the supreme court is about hearing 1%. >> well, because they said -- fond of saying, how many times
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has this on by a narrow spread. and this is just an example of that. they knew the odds were extremely hard. getting a good lawyer to handle it. they could not handle it. there would like to think, but they knew you had to have connections in the track record. and they knew was they got their the judges turned down those things and then the tough one. they have no choice. >> the first up is not even to argue the case. the first step is to craft a brief, you know, sort of an appeal to the get a hearing. >> the first is to get a lawyer who will do it. >> exactly. >> suited they focus on and why? >> it is like the absolute best they could possibly get, the
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highest was ted olson, a leading conservative appellate lawyer. he has a lot of big corporate clients. you would think this is not an issue that at that point -- this is a guide. we all know be argued cork and the bush, and the supreme court. would he take this case? and they kept calling him and warning him and took a long time before you finally agreed to do it. >> was there anything pivotal? coming to know what help to make up his mind? >> there is more and more publicity. it was helpful when an abc producer went down. with his camera. he came up and pushed him and not to mention saqqara. >> he was manhandled. >> all the publicity. >> and in saying that i recall that olson was intrigued by the
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case. he just felt like it didn't have enough scope. this needed to have the national ramifications. i guess the publicity helped. >> he thought it had national ramifications. sooner or later there were going to have to deal with this issue, but the court, in choosing their cases, they deal with some issues that they sense will have to come before the court. for years these issues that dealt with the finances and judicial and other elections kept percolating appanage judges kept not wanting to deal with it. we will deal with this one cannot simply because its west virginia, but partially because in the legal record their no federal cases cited. assist local. is just the state cases. so even after olson took it
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heats up and not going to excepted. and when benjamin in his. foolishness. >> right. >> writes a concurring opinion to miming to link the, contentious where he throws in every federal case a miserable. >> right. >> and i can't imagine what it would have been like when he reads my book and realizes that he is the person that without him it never would have reached the supreme court. >> it is interesting because, you know, the -- there are all of these curious twists of fate. people's paths crossing like stanley and the blankenship said. the similarity of the backgrounds, you know, and then the pictures showing a the show not just one justice might have been compromised and needed to recuse himself, but that maynard, because of his long relationship with blankenship should have recused himself.
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so the book begins with that day at the supreme court. and then that means that they get their they did not talk about a dollar amount which was also a shrewd. you can spend this but not that. so it's still kind of vague. back it goes. and the first time it was turned
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back. the second time is when these photos come out of blankenship and the judge. >> host: maynard. >> guest: together in southern france, it turned back again. so now what is back a third time >> host: it goes back to west virginia. >> guest: by the way the supreme court did this you would think now this court is going tough find the other way. no. this time in a 4-1 decision they turned it back. >
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ongoing. >> guest: what happened is there were told basically you cannot try this and west virginia. it went back to virginia. they thought there would try it in virginia. and it took to the circuit court in virginia. i was there when they argued it. now he has these brilliant young attorneys from washington, yale, law review type attorneys who look like the stanley when they started this. the circuit judge rules, no, you cannot try this thing. it does not belong in virginia. so they desperately -- again, this thread again gets taken to the supreme court. >> host: pending a hearing. >> guest: and i'm thinking no way. this is a conservative court. are they going to let this thing, the yellow pages of this thing after 14 years, they're
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going to let this. no way. and a few weeks ago the virginia court ruled unanimously that this trial could go ahead. twenty-seven pages of opinion is magnificent. it is not counting all of this legal. it is a bold statement saying what was done was wrong. it is basically a combination of the supreme court of west virginia. and it is a prius statement of what the law can do. i gave echos said the dinner party for andrew young. somebody got up and said democrats, well great. and he said, i don't see the world the way. the playoff.
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sometimes the republicans may not have even been pros civil rights, but there are prologue, pro constitution. and so is this virginia court. so it is a proud moment for american justice that the rule this way. >> host: so there will be hearing the case that was going you know, had been argued for six weeks and west virginia before it was turned down by the west virginia courts, is that correct? >> guest: either it will settle or go to trial. >> host: how much is that -- 50 million, how much is that now with interest? >> guest: well, it was thrown out. >> host: how much would it have been, rather? >> guest: adr 90 million. but now, remember, whatever they
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decide, everytime their there in virginia, west virginia, and even the supreme court of west virginia, they all said this is wrong. so in all likelihood the jury will say that this is wrong. the question is how much money will they give caperton? whenever they give him -- and in fact most of it goes to all the people that are owed money. these people get their money back. but whenever they get, interest for all these years since it was shut down. >> guest: so the case in virginia, is that going to be a jury case? >> guest: yes. >> host: so -- but, the interesting thing is also that faucet and stanley did not just
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rest with the caperton case which was consuming so much time and energy anyway. they went after blankenship in other rounds because i guess blankenship said wrong people who came to see faucet and stanley as potential champions of their causes. tell us a little bit about the other areas? >> guest: well, when the last in america. end they had a contract with massey for $30 million worth of gold each year. and with coal and the steelmaker, you have to get it regularly. the furnaces have to stay heated all the time. if they get cold they're finished. it costs millions of dollars to rebuild. and with this contract by kinship saudi could make several times the amount of money
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selling that to the chinese and other foreign buyers. he is a bottom-line guy. he just does not do that kind of thing warmly without bought pieces that the years of mummified do this, if the simi, they will probably see me about this. will that cost me? i will make enough money selling in overseas. >> host: what is so interesting is that is a the same thing. two cases are not dissimilar. rather than making a clean break and saying, you know, we found a customer who pays more, good luck to you. he sort of string says clients on and leads them to their demise. a strange way of doing business. >> guest: and it's as old --
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this steelmaker that started at the time of the american revolution. because of this the company is destroyed. it is up -- all that is left is a coal maker that sells to the steel makers. fawcett took the case, one over $200 million a quorum in western agenda. you think that would stop. but he then starts shorting him again. and they sued massey and. ♪ a gain. just before they're going to trial they settled. i don't know how much it is, but my guess it is close to $100 million. >> host: is it too late? >> guest: it is too late. in the jobs are gone. >> host: it is interesting. he keeps talking about wanting to create jobs, but there is so much destruction in his wake.
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they're is a different kind of destruction that his family held in to account for starting at the end, mind. >> guest: as much as his family's going to fight. one month doesn't the two widows if everything. and these 2-parish off. they took their case with another lawyer from west virginia. they took it to trial. that week-long trial is the most devastating defeat in which all the safety procedures were wrong. the ventilation went back words. the poses, the fire protection, the hoses, there wouldn't screw
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and. is no water pressure. they're supposed to have safety drills. they faked the safety drills. >> host: they called the attorney for the two women to ask to be part of the case. >> guest: that is how much she wanted to do it. on the last date of what turned up to be a last day of the child he had done a video deposition with blankenship in which all he did was he read these memos that blankenship had written. >> host: that was one of the interesting things. he had this very concrete paper trail of taxes. the comments and answers. >> guest: and stanley had that and read those into the core record and just kept simply asking blankenship, is that right? he would not let them comment. he was just devastating. that evening the lawyers called unsettled the, but the federal
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and state governments, they find it them $3 million, chump change to them. and part of the settlement was there would be criminal charges against the executives. now, i submit to that of the federal government had done what was right in the u.s. attorney in charleston had done was right and put federal criminal charges against them their just sitting there ready to be filed. the miners who died would not have died. >> host: what ended up happening was you have this explosion four years later. and then it was done and that. and what did tie? because it did? >> guest: in part because he is one shrewd guy. he had contacts with his people and the media.
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he held them connect what happened. it's the same thing. is the same violations. and yet and to think about the culture. it was not just the individual violations. it was a culture just above the bottom line in the most narrow self-serving way which was a destructive thing in this business. >> host: after upper bay branch what ended up happening? >> guest: again largely because -- in part because -- even more, he could not run away now. because of his times. if he had not been he would be sitting there right now. but because these two things came together, such devastating criticism of him he had to retire.
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the lifework no longer exists. >> host: pretty well. a pretty nice golden parachute. >> guest: story not over. they're is new -- the u.s. attorney in west virginia. from an old west virginia family. his father was the judge. his wife is a top political figure in the state. as serious systematic investigation into this, and -- >> host: into upper branch. >> guest: started with a big branch and convicted three employees. now we have a fourth employee. there was not an upper bay branch who was in another mine and to has been convicted of being part of a conspiracy to violate. and he is asked ito to do these things in the courtroom he said the ceo. that's blankenship. so i think that -- and
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blankenship is going crazy in some ways. and his website, he says that if i go to prison it will be political reasons. he is accusing cecil roberts of potentially being a murderer, murdering strike later in 1985. these are not rational things are smart things, not things that any lawyer would tell you your client to do, but he is doing them, and i think he is sitting there nervously anticipating that he is going to be indicted. >> guest: another issue the you're expecting to drop. >> host: what is interesting, one of the things that struck me is that this drive to produce more and more coal and cutting corners to get to that point, this was one of the criticism that was made against bp after the the border horizon left --
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led to the death of 11 workers. this drive to up produce the energy that we consume is a country that make a lot of people very rich. and the question, you know, what is the cost of the production? i mean, it is amazing because there may be another state for blankenship if this criminal case goes on. but if there had been some lives destroyed in the wake -- i mean, where is tony? where are some of the people who worked in the west virginia courts who they thought might have had these pictures and given the pictures of maynard and blankenship to stanley? >> guest: well, he may be getting a prison. i talked to him every week from prison. this is nothing to do with the story, but i find it extremely offensive that an american
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prison, they're controlled by giant corporations that charge enormous amounts of money. they have to call collect. it's a big deal, but families and children. it's so expensive. they wanted people to come. they want them talking to the families. we seem not to. i talked to tony every week. he kept telling me, you can give me out of prison. i said forget it. the only way you're going to get out is if the governor pardons' you command is not going to because of the nature of what you have done. so controversial. no, no. well, he is getting a hearing now. and the judges read my book. the prosecutors read my book. the defense attorney, everyone has read my book. i think it's a very good likelihood that he would get out. the potential whistleblowers, one of them to five they were
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fired. >> host: the miners who had been at the mine. this hundred and 45 people that caperton had. >> guest: i went and talked to them. they just forgot. it's like a forgotten story. one of the worst things that blankenship did, mining is ending in this part of the world the way it was. ascends the biggest things are gone. natural-gas is so much cheaper. that really should be preparing for a different kind of future. instead thanks in part to blankenship, the created this idea that there were friends of coal. in the true friends of coal don't put any criticism. you cannot talk about an alternative future. the enemy is obama. it is the governor, the regulators. refuse to look at the reality.
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it put back the future for decades. >> host: so, what is next for david foster and brew stanley and for caperton? >> guest: well, bruce and dave loaf -- there was a party at their law firm. and they must be king -- part of the equation. many law firms in america would have dropped this a long time ago. >> host: was surprised how long they stuck with it. >> guest: and a lot of them would have gone and say these two guys down the hall, we are working hard. where but in all these hours. the two guys are just -- >> host: well, getting paid. a contingency in this millions of dollars. >> guest: but that to happen. in fact just the opposite. they're so proud of this. the think this is the case as
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well. they're trying to hang in. the -- if you are a small factor in have done wrong, bruce is going to be there. he los doing that. >> host: he's gone back to west virginia. in a different way. >> guest: he's driving back from charleston. a 3-yard drive. this is your office. this tribe back and forth. he said that was it. so he wants to do that. i mean at that party he almost lost it. he almost lost it because it looked out. there was a son who was a baby just born. a six-foot tall teenager. all the years of my life for devoted to this. is still going on. he loves to fight for justice. he loves to be on the side of it. and that to me is one of the
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most important things about this book. i like young lawyers and law students to read this. there is a nobility to law and being a lawyer, and it just cannot be forgotten. it is seen so rarely. you see in the lives of these two men, and that is what they want to do. they're proud of what they have done. the law firm's profit. >> host: and at the end of the day what has caperton gone out of this? >> guest: well, the most productive years of his life. >> host: that he spent on this case. >> guest: that he spent on this case. he's 60 years old now. he's working as a salesman. he had to get job finally. he gets an enormous monetary verdict, well, will that make it worthwhile? i just don't know. i can say that for him.
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>> host: the fact that the supreme court made this decision because of his perseverance, would that make this worthwhile? >> guest: zero, there is this caperton that is going to be known that forever as long as the american justice system exists his name is on that case. he's proud that olson took his case and that he sat in that court room, the supreme court and they heard that. >> host: well, thank you so much for joining us. the book is the price of justice a great read. >> that was book tv signature program in which authors of the lettuce nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists public policy makers and others familiar with their material. airing every weekend on book tv at 10:00 p.m. on saturday, a 12 and 9:00 p.m. on sunday, and will a.m. on monday.
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you can also watch online. go to booktv.org and click on afterwards and the book tv series and topics list and the upper right side of the page. is there a nonfiction off for a bookie would like to see featured on book tv? send us an e-mail at book tv at c-span.org or tweet as. twitter.com/booktv. >> what are you reading this summer? book tv wants to know. >> the first book on my summer reading list is something that i have read already. it's called a victory lap. a winning campaign. work in terms of talking and communication. the things that happen. the first thing on a summer
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reading list. the second book on my summer reading list as another political book. the biography of tip o'neill by john farrell. terrific writer. to the nail in the democratic sens. the first book, a summer reading list. women in the workplace and how they should succeed. i can't go a summer without reading a baseball book, one of which is the art of fielding. if you get a read a novel as would some baseball stories in sight of it. the fifth book is guilty pleasure reading. game of thrones, the very popular tv show you the book series. once you start reading, you have
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to resolve them. >> let us know what you are reading this summer. treatise @booktv. send us an e-mail. >> up next, the hoover institution thomas hendricks and was interviewed about this book, america and rogue states in which she looks at the u.s. handling of countries like north korea and pre invasion. this interview was recorded at the hoover institution on the campus of stanford university. >> watching book tv on c-span2. on location on the hoover institution at stanford university interviewing some scholars and professors. right now we are joined by thomas hendrickson, america and the rogue

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